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Goodbye (Mary Hopkin song)

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Title: Goodbye (Mary Hopkin song)  
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Subject: Lennon–McCartney, Paul McCartney
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Goodbye (Mary Hopkin song)

Single cover released in the Netherlands
Single by Mary Hopkin
B-side "Sparrow"
Released 28 March 1969 (UK)
Format 7" single
Genre Pop
Length 2:23
Label Apple
Writer(s) John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Producer(s) Paul McCartney
Mary Hopkin singles chronology
Those Were the Days
"Que Sera Sera" (US)
/ "Temma Harbour" (UK)

"Goodbye" is a song written by Paul McCartney (but credited to Lennon–McCartney) and performed by Mary Hopkin. It was released on 28 March 1969, and it reached No. 2 in the UK singles chart, prevented from reaching the top position by the Beatles' single "Get Back".[1] In the US, released 7 April 1969, the song reached No. 13 on the singles chart. In the Netherlands the single peaked at No. 1.[2]


The song was conceived as a follow-up to the success of Hopkin's first single, produced by McCartney, titled "Those Were the Days", which was highlighted on her debut album Postcard, one of the first records issued by the newly-founded Apple Records.[3] In later years, McCartney had little recollection of creating the song, which was written in a great hurry to capitalise on Hopkin's popularity, but he did recall being told by a boat skipper from the Orkney Islands that it was the man's favourite song, which seemed appropriate to McCartney since, "if you think of it from a sailor's point of view, it's very much a leaving-the-port song."[4] Allmusic critic Richie Unterberger described it as a "pleasant and catchy romp, rather like a Continental European folk love ballad in tone, with a dash of music hall."[5]


To assist Hopkin in learning the song, McCartney recorded a solo demo at his home, 7 Cavendish Road, London, in February 1969.[6] The song was arranged by Willesden.[8][9] To better match Hopkin's voice, the key was raised from C major to E major.[6] The recording was Apple's first official double-A-side, and the first Apple record to feature a full-fledged picture sleeve.[10]

For the recording, Hopkin sang and performed acoustic guitar, while McCartney played bass guitar, an acoustic guitar introduction and solo, along with lap-slapping percussion and drums. Backing vocals, horns and strings, in Hewson's arrangement, were overdubbed.[6] The session was filmed by Apple's Tony Bramwell for a promotional clip. In the footage, Hopkin can be seen miming to the song inside the studio, combined with shots of her and McCartney, smoking a cigarette and finger-popping, in the control room listening to a playback.[6]

The flip side "Sparrow" was written by Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle, a songwriting duo signed to Apple Publishing. The recording took place on 2 March 1969; Hopkin sang and played guitar, McCartney added maracas, a session musician played upright bass, and Hewson arranged a choir part.[11]

Mary Hopkin met her future husband, record producer Tony Visconti, while making foreign-language versions of the song.[12]

The song was one of only two hits to be omitted from the compilation disc The Songs Lennon and McCartney Gave Away, issued originally in 1971 and re-released in 1979.[13]

Paul McCartney recording

The song was never officially released by either the Beatles or Paul McCartney, although bootleg recordings exist of McCartney's original demo of the song, recorded for Mary Hopkin.[14] The international online magazine PopMatters has published McCartney's demo along with critical commentary expressing a preference for the composer's version over Hopkin's rendition.[15]

International Chart Positions

Chart (1969) Peak
UK Singles Chart 2
Dutch Single Top 100[16] 1
Danish Singles Chart[16] 3
Norway Singles Chart[16] 3
Finnish Singles Chart[17] 4
Belgian Singles Chart[18] 7
Swedish Singles Chart[18] 4
French SNEP Chart[18] 9
Polish Singles Chart[18] 4
Israel Singles Chart[18] 5
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 13
Canada RPM[19] 15


  1. ^ "Eurovision Stars". Eurovision. Retrieved 9 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Goodbye" chart performance according to the Dutch top 40""". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Hill, Sarah (2011). "Mary Hopkin and the Deep Throat of Culture," in She's So Fine: Reflections on Whiteness, Femininity, Adolescence and Class in 1960s Music, ed. Laurie Stras. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing. pp. 169–177.  
  4. ^ Miles, Barry (1998). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Macmillan. p. 457.  
  5. ^  
  6. ^ a b c d "Paul McCartney produces Mary Hopkin's Goodbye". Beatles Diary, 1969. The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Harry, Bill (2003). The Paul McCartney encyclopedia. London: Virgin. p. 414.  
  8. ^ Miles, Barry (2001). The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years. London: Omnibus Press.  
  9. ^ Castleman, Harry; Podrazik, Walter J. (1977). "1969 – "But If Paul's Alive, How Did He Die?"". All Together Now – The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961–1975 (Second ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 76.  
  10. ^ "Reference Library: Apple 45s". The Internet Beatles Album. Adam Forrest. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Paul McCartney produces Mary Hopkin's Goodbye – 12.00pm, Sunday 2 March 1969". The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Warner, Jay (2008). Notable Moments of Women in Music. Milwaukee WI: Hal Leonard Books. p. 159.  
  13. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir, et al. ed. (2002). All Music Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 1293.  
  14. ^ Dowlding, William J. (1989). Beatlesongs. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 309.  
  15. ^ Williams, Zachary. """Paul McCartney's "Goodbye. PopMatters Media. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c Billboard Magazine, May 1969. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Billboard Magazine, September 1969. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c d e Billboard Magazine, June 1969. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "RPM Magazine, May 1969". Retrieved 27 June 2013. 

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